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Plasticweld
October 12th, 2014, 01:42 PM
A Ghost Story 642 words by Bob Brown


The room was cold. Laying there in bed, keeping as still as I could, concentrating only on my breathing.
Maybe he would go away thinking I was asleep. He was at the end of the bed, I could not see him as much as sense him. Low sobbing sounds filled the room, I could tell he was being a little dramatic.

"I know you're awake Bob."

I pretend I can't hear.

He sniffles a little. "It’s just—just not right!"

I let out a sigh of disgust; I guess sleep is out of the question. "What’s wrong now?" I ask.

"I don’t get no respect—they’re saying..."

I interrupt, "What you’re Rodney Dangerfield now? Can’t we just talk in the morning?" I can tell by his silence he's mad now.

What are the chances that the house I bought would not only be haunted, but by a ghost with low self-esteem? It’s 2 am and I am trying to make 'him' feel better.

"Really—Bob—Really! Talk in the morning! Did you forget who you’re talking to?"

I use my best friend voice to smooth things over. "Sorry, what da want talk about?"

"They have been giving me a hard time, calling me Casper the ghost."

I sit up in the bed to talk. "You mean by 'they' your other ghost buddies?"

"Bob we had this conversation before. That's derogatory! We can say ghost and it’s ok, you have to say spiritual entity or it is just rude. And don’t go around telling everyone its ok for you to say-- because you have a ghost friend."

"Sorry--" I replied.

He continued. "I have a couple of buddies that are going to come over to visit."

"What!" I responded. "Now I am supposed to entertain for you?"

"Well… buddy old pal, I was hoping you could, you know, act all scared, wet your pants, scream like a little girl, call 911. Would ya… for me please?"

"You think that will get them to stop calling you Casper? – Kind of a lot to ask, isn’t it?"

He is acting all chipper now. "For me buddy old pal... would ya?"

"I’ll do something to make ya look bad ass. Maybe not wet myself, but I’ll put on a show if it will make you feel better… When are they coming?

He sheepishly replied, "Tomorrow."

"You’re kidding me right? Tomorrow!"

"They’re on vacation and wanna stop by."

"Ghosts..." I started to say, "I’m Sorry… On vacation ... For real!"

"You know Bob just because you’re dead doesn’t mean you stop living."

I sat there shivering, trying to take this all in. My roommate, my friend, is certainly a pain in the ass.

"Bob, what’s the deal with the heat in here anyway? It’s freakin freezin! And what’s the deal with the place being so messy, you ought to clean it up. We got company coming."

"Heat is busted, got a guy comin tomorrow. Why you care? I didn’t think you could tell one way or the other. And since when does it matter what the place looked like? I thought you guys all liked empty abandon houses that were falling down?"

"Bob… Bob…Bob… Too much TV, too much Stephen King… We still like nice stuff. You got to stop with this stereotypical crap."

"Me!… You’re accusing me of using stereotypes? Didn’t you just ask me to run around and act all scared…scared of the big bad ghost… I mean. Sorry again…You know what I mean. Kinda like calling the kettle black isn’t?"

The house was silent. No smart come back. I knew I had him with that one.

Finally breaking the silence in his best friend voice he asked "For me old buddy old pal… for me…would ya?"

I took a deep breath. It was my turn to be dramatic, "Ok, I will, but I have one favor to ask, it’s kind of personal?"

His response was immediate, "Sure buddy anything."

I lowered my voice to a whisper, barely mumbling the words.

"What Bob?…Huh… I can’t hear you."

"I said it was personal, I’m not going to shout it out."

He comes closer and leans in, we are almost touching.








I shout as loud as I can, "BOOOO!"

He shrieked; knocking over the lamp in his attempt to flee. I couldn’t contain my laughter. And with that, he was gone

mrmustard615
October 12th, 2014, 01:58 PM
I like this Bob. Your strength is usually with the punchline, but this one is whimsical throughout. Very well done.


http://i357.photobucket.com/albums/oo13/pandorapj/holiday%20vacation/witch_5.gif

Plasticweld
October 12th, 2014, 02:05 PM
Originally I started out with the idea that I would write something for the CF LM I got tired of waiting for the firestarter to post a story so figured I would just make this a stand alone story. Thanks for the positive feedback, it is appreciated...Bob

jenthepen
October 12th, 2014, 02:32 PM
I love this! The whole concept of a 'needy' ghost is brilliant. This was my favourite of a whole bunch of good lines...

“You know Bob just because you’re dead doesn’t mean you stop living.”

jenthepen
October 12th, 2014, 02:41 PM
Oooops, sorry mrmustard, I was trying to lol at Bob's story and I pressed the button under your thread by mistake. Oh well, take it as a belated award for your brilliant work on Gertie.
Jen

mrmustard615
October 12th, 2014, 02:43 PM
Oooops, sorry mrmustard, I was trying to lol at Bob's story and I pressed the button under your thread by mistake. Oh well, take it as a belated award for your brilliant work on Gertie.
Jen


That's okay Jen. I'll just have to bear it I guess. :lol:

http://i357.photobucket.com/albums/oo13/pandorapj/holiday%20vacation/witch_5.gif

Nippon Devil
October 14th, 2014, 02:06 AM
This spot had some flow problems. I think one was a typo, but this would be my suggested fix.




I use my best friend voice to smooth things over. “Sorry, what did you want to talk about?”

“They have been giving me a hard time, calling me Casper the ghost.”

I sit up in the bed to talk “ By 'they' ya mean your other ghost buddies?”



There was also some punctuation errors, but that's hard to point out. It was mostly quotations without a pause. Also when you try to put emphasis on a word, sometimes you do it like "This" and other times like (This). You should pick one way and make sure you're consistent throughout. The only acception to this rule would be to use "quotations" during the narration and 'apostrophes' during dialog, as it's already in quotations.

In regards to the story I quite liked it. It had good pacing and, while it didn't have a strong end, it was amusing the whole way.

Plasticweld
October 14th, 2014, 08:35 PM
Thanks for your help I will go back and fix..Bob

thepancreas11
October 17th, 2014, 03:00 AM
I rather enjoyed the premise of that. Very original ghost...er...spiritual entity story. Flipped the old stereotypes on their heads, am I right? Loved the thing about it being their word. Creates a strong point of view, and also lays down some ground-rules for the interaction between living in dead. In turn, that defines a strong relationship between the characters.

Say what you want about things being plastic, but this had a surprisingly real feel to it. I think, to put the mind at ease, to pull us away from the reality in which we live, you must do two things: create a proper, specific setting and populate it with strong, relatable characters. For one, you did a great job of creating these boundaries previously mentioned out of details. We have rules in the space created by the players in the game. We also have a well-defined character objective. We even have a decently powerful conflict. In short, all the proper parts of the story are in place to make it something special.

But, it lacks a bit in execution. Some grammar issues (watch your "your" and "you're" usage) and the switching tense made it difficult to follow at times. Either pick past or present. Do not use both. They cross my wires.

I thought the ending lacked a little luster too. I would have liked to see a more gradual shift from our ghost man. Tease it out of the character. In fact, for the most part, let the emotion make itself. I would leave out lines like his first thought blurb, the one about arguing with his roommate ghost, altogether because, frankly, with everything else you've written, it's overkill.

Great stuff, Bob.

Phoenix_White
October 19th, 2014, 02:01 PM
The unique theme and the perfect length,made this story, quite an enjoyable read.

Smith
October 19th, 2014, 07:07 PM
I was entertained by the story, that much is certain. Am interested in reading more about their little adventures and how they live together. Reminded me of a movie I saw... A Haunted House? In a round-a-bout way, that is.

Still some punctuation errors. If you want I can point them out. You have improved though, which is good, and that means you can continue to improve. I think the ending would be fine if this were part of a larger piece. Maybe as the end of a chapter. It wasn't a bad ending either though, I just feel that would be even more fitting. Well done.

Plasticweld
October 19th, 2014, 07:49 PM
Mr. Smith please point out my errors and what it takes to fix them and why. The mistakes I make are out of ignorance. I have looked this piece over many times and I can find none, which is why I have asked you for help...Bob

Smith
October 21st, 2014, 06:51 PM
Sure thing. ^_^


The room was cold. Laying there in bed keeping as still as I could, concentrating on my breathing. Maybe he would go away thinking I was asleep. He was at the end of the bed, I could not see him as much as sense him. Low sobbing sounds filled the room, I could tell he was being a little dramatic.

“I know you're awake Bob.”

I pretend I can't hear.

He sniffles a little “It’s just—just not right!” He sniffles a little. (you forgot the period)

I let out a sigh of disgust; I guess sleep is out of the question. “What’s wrong now?” I ask.

“I don’t get no respect—they’re saying...”

I interrupt, “What you’re Rodney Dangerfield now? Can’t we just talk in the morning?” I can tell by his silence he's mad now.

What are the chances that the house I bought would not only be haunted, but by a ghost with low self-esteem? It’s 2 am and I am trying to make (Him) feel better. If you're going to emphasize a word, I wouldn't recommend using parentheses. I'd stick with 'him' or italics. Shouldn't be capitalized either.

“Really—Bob—Really! Talk in the morning! Did you forget who you’re talking to?”

I use my best friend voice to smooth things over. “Sorry, what da want talk about?”

“They have been giving me a hard time, calling me Casper the ghost.”

I sit up in the bed to talk “You mean by 'they' your other ghost buddies. I sit up in the bed to talk. (you forgot a period)

“Bob we had this conversation before. That's derogatory! We can say ghost and it’s ok, you have to say (spiritual entity) or it is just rude. And don’t go around telling everyone its ok for you to say-- because you have a ghost friend. Same thing I said earlier about showing emphasis.

“Sorry--” I replied.

He continued. “I have a couple of buddies that are going to come over to visit.”

“What!” I responded. “Now I am supposed to entertain for you?”

“Well… buddy old pal I was hoping you could, you know, act all scared, wet your pants, scream like a little girl, call 911. Would ya… for me please?”

“You think that will get them to stop calling you Casper? – Kind of a lot to ask, isn’t it?”

He is acting all chipper now “For me buddy old pal... would ya?” He is acting all chipper now. (forgot a period)

“I’ll do something to make ya look bad ass. Maybe not wet myself, but I’ll put on a show if it will make you feel better… When are they coming?

He sheepishly replied, “Tomorrow.”

“You’re kidding me right? Tomorrow!”

“They’re on vacation and wanna stop by.”

“Ghosts” I started to say, “I’m Sorry… On vacation ... For real!” "Ghosts-" or "Ghosts..."

“You know Bob just because you’re dead doesn’t mean you stop living.”

I sat there shivering trying to take this all in. My roommate, my friend, is certainly a pain in the ass.

“Bob, what’s the deal with the heat in here anyway? It’s freakin freezin! And what’s the deal with place being so messy, you ought to clean it up. We got company coming.”

“Heat is busted, got a guy comin tomorrow. Why you care? I didn’t think you could tell one way or the other. And since when does it matter what the place looked like? I thought you guys all liked empty abandon houses that were falling down?”

“Bob… Bob…Bob… Too much TV, too much Stephen King… We still like nice stuff. You got stop with this stereotypical crap.”

“Me!… You’re accusing me of using stereotypes? Didn’t you just ask me run around and act all scared…scared of the big bad ghost… I mean. Sorry again…You know what I mean. Kinda like calling the kettle black isn’t?”

The house was silent. No smart come back. I knew I had him with that one.

Finally breaking the silence in his best friend voice he asked “For me old buddy old pal… for me…would ya?” Good emphasis on 'his'.

I took a deep breath, it was my turn to be dramatic “Ok I will, but I have one favor to ask, it’s kind of personal? I took a deep breath. (period, no comma, then capitalize "it")

His response was immediate “Sure buddy anything." His response was immediate. (needed a period)

I lowered my voice to a whisper, barely mumbling the words.

“What Bob?…Huh… I can’t hear you.”

“I said it was personal, I’m not going to shout it out.”

He comes closer and leans in, we are almost touching.

I shout loud as I can, “BOOO" Don't forget the exclamation mark! Or a period.

He shrieked; knocking over the lamp in his attempt to flee. I couldn’t contain my laughter. And with that, he was gone.

Plasticweld
October 21st, 2014, 09:18 PM
Thank you very much. I learned something. Thanks for taking the time to teach me...Bob

tjer222
October 24th, 2014, 04:12 PM
The first story I've read on here after registering and what a treat. Personally I think that the ability to write humorously is one of the least appreciate aspects of writing ability - you either have it or you ain't. You sir, have.

Plasticweld
October 25th, 2014, 02:36 AM
Tjer222 welcome to the forum, I read your intro in the new members section, something tells me you have some great stories to tell, I am looking forward to reading some of your work. I appreciate your kind words towards mine and I am looking forward to returning the favor...Bob

Greimour
October 25th, 2014, 03:10 AM
Ah, Bob. The best story I have read on here in a while. Which is saying something because I read one by Pluralized yesterday.


I have never heard of bracketing emphasized words before... it would indeed make it parenthetical so it makes no sense to me. It means the sentence would work without the parenthesis - clearly that's not the case. Still, there may be methods out there I am not familiar with. It wouldn't surprise me to learn new methods for the next 40 years (if I live that long), but I would be surprised to find that people do emphasize a word in that way.

Personally, I prefer italicized (as you chose to do) but I see no problem with apostrophe version and do use it on occasion.



~Kev.

TIG
October 27th, 2014, 04:17 PM
My only small quibble - but one that kind of deflated the ending - was that he knocked over a lamp. Okay, when you're dealing with something as intangible as a ghost you can play with certain parameters, but in my mind it wasn't right.

I also think you could have built more on the moment before the surprise. You could add some detail about something mundane, as you're almost cheek-to-cheek with him. It could almost pull the reader away from what is about to happen.

It's a nice idea and worth pursuing!

HumanYoYo
October 28th, 2014, 06:33 AM
Made me smile. Bob and his ghost buddy (old pal). :mrgreen:

MHarding53
March 6th, 2015, 03:28 PM
Loved it! I cant help thinking if there is an S.P.C.S.E." Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Spiritual Entities.

Frankyette
April 10th, 2015, 02:41 AM
I will pile on the bandwagon here and say it was very good. Well done!